Purposeful Work: The Six Barriers To Fulfilment In The Workplace

Purposeful Work: The Six Barriers To Fulfilment In The Workplace


What drives people to be purposeful in their work?

All organisations desperately require each of us to come to work to give our very best because we love what we do – using our hands, minds and hearts – and take others along on the journey. This is the essence of work that is purposeful and meaningful.

If this is the case, then why do so many individuals go to work without purpose?

Barrier 1: Personal issues – comfort zones, our trap

When opportunities for personal evolution come knocking at our door, rationally we may be aware that it is in our best interests to evolve, but emotionally we may be resistant.

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It is important to know that there will be moments when you feel very uncertain and want to turn back. This is, however, the time when you need to get very clear and focused on your goal, have a great plan, a strong support system and want to reach your destination with every ounce of your being.

Your hunger for it has to be greater than your fears.

Barrier 2: Doing a job rather than fulfilling your passion


Time is our most valuable asset. You should not feel as if you are mindlessly wasting your life away.

Enjoying what you do can make you feel unstoppable and as if nothing can obstruct you from achieving greatness.

Your passion ignites your work and like a rocket, it accelerates you past any road blocks.

You accept obstacles as part of life and find creative solutions for dealing with them. Search for something you are passionate about and don’t give up until you find it.

Barrier 3: Ego

Arrogance, pride and ego can destroy a team, a family, a career, an organisation or a relationship. They are mere smokescreens that try to cover up low self-esteem.

On the other hand, although humility is a beautiful attribute, leading with too much humility can be seen as a weakness. It is important to maintain a balance of well-founded confidence.

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Barrier 4: Lack of trust

Trust is the foundation of any successful relationship, both personal and professional and when it is broken, it is extremely difficult to repair. A workforce that has high trust is a more engaged and committed workforce, which in turn sparks innovation, high performance and increased revenue.

If you are suspicious of others and their intentions, you are less likely to share information. This affects how you show up and, ultimately, it negatively affects the organisation that you work for.

Barrier 5: Poor relationships


In the best sense, the quality of your relationships at work is meant to contribute to an “all hands on deck” mentality where everyone focuses on achieving results. In the worst sense, poor-quality working relationships divert attention from results.

Related: 4 Ways to Diffuse a Toxic Workplace

The following are three ways to proactively develop positive work relationships:

  • Reinforce positive behaviours and outcomes – be proactive in letting your peers know when a successful collaboration resulted in a positive outcome.
  • Influence – go out of your way to show an interest in your peers and their work, assist them and build stronger working relationships.
  • Hunt for opportunities to communicate face-to-face. Not only is this the best form of communication, it also demonstrates that they are worthy of your time.

Barrier 6: Lack of motivation (recognition)

Motivation is the force that converts intention into action. In a work setting, it is the drive that helps maintain goal-directed performance. It is crucial to listen and respond to team members’ needs to ensure high levels of engagement throughout the organisation.

Spotting the warning signs of demotivation early and addressing them quickly can help encourage contentment and foster talent retention.

Do others recognise passion, love and joy as you go about your work? What do you need to do to display those traits more obviously?

Being purposeful at work might be lying dormant already, but you need to connect to it. You need to understand what it looks like to be purposeful in your specific situation and work on getting there!

Brian Eagar
Brian Eagar is a founder and CEO of the TowerStone Leadership Centre. Fuelled by his passion for empowering and inspiring people, Eagar translated this into a coaching journey that empowers leaders to inspire values-driven behaviour in their people, with the ultimate objective of fostering a sustainable, performance culture. He has over 15 years of personal executive leadership experience, seven years of executive development and facilitation experience, combined with seven years of coaching experience.